Hactivism For Human Rights

Hactivism For Human Rights

Access is a global movement consisting of former hackers who have dedicated their lives to securing internet freedom for social activists around the world.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 30 march 2011

Inspired by activists’ courage following the 2009 Iranian elections, a group of former hackers are devoting their lives to challenging Internet censorship around the globe, and have created Access.

Access is a global movement premised on the belief that political participation and human rights activism in the 21st century are increasingly dependent on access to the Internet and other forms of technology. Access teams with digital activists and civil society groups worldwide, to help build their technical capacities and advocate globally for their digital rights. The organization provides the thought leadership and practical policy recommendations in the broader field of Internet freedom, and based on that expertise, mobilizes its global movement of citizens to campaign for an open internet accessible to all.

Access views the Internet as an unparalleled platform for achieving greater participation amongst citizens demanding accountability and transparency from their governments. With an emphasis on collaboration, its ultimate goal is to maintain the Internet as open space for all.

To make sure change happens on an institutional level, we connect digital activists with those in the technology industry, academia, and government, so that together we can influence decision makers on key internet governance issues. We aim to keep the concerns of human rights defenders working in cyberspace at the forefront of both policy and practice, by providing thought leadership and innovative ideas at the national, regional and international levels.

Access has created a practical guide to staying secure on the web that is intended for activists in countries like Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya attempting to mobilize protests. In many cases, people are being arrested and tortured for their conversations on the web because governments are able to easily track them on social networks like Facebook, and Twitter. The guide explains, among other things, to avoid being traced, and has both life-saving and freedom-promoting possibilities.


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